Iran announced Saturday that it would be sending a second monkey into space, eight months after the regime claimed it had successfully launched its first simian astronaut out of the stratosphere.
According to a report in the Iranian website Press TV, Hamid Fazeli, the deputy head of the Iran Space Agency, said that Iran also plans to send “other species into space during the next stages of the project,” and that launching the monkey was “a prelude to sending humans on space missions.”
Although Saturday’s report did not specify which other species were to be launched, a report in September said that the leaders of country’s space program planned to send a Persian cat into space during the current Iranian year, which ends March 21.
That report, by the official IRNA news agency, said a mouse and rabbit were also under consideration.
In 2010, Iranian officials said Iran had sent a mouse, a turtle and some worms on a space flight.
Iran’s claim of having sent a monkey to space and successfully retrieved it after its reentry came under question after photos appeared to show different monkeys in pre- and post-launch images.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.